MILEPOSTS #996

By Ken Brafman, Image from ROWHS Collection

TITLE: THE LEGACY OF THE CCC: When Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in 1933 one of his first orders of business was to establish the CCC. The new agency would perform complex work devoted to forestry, the prevention of soil erosion, flood control, firefighting, building of parks and similar projects. From its inception in 1933 until 1942, some two million young men flocked to join and were put to work on the nation’s infrastructure. Pay was $30 per month, of which $25 was mandated to be sent home to assist the families. Benefits included increased employability as well as gaining a sense of dignity and self-worth. The pursuit of education was strongly encouraged, and the CCC offered referrals for free diploma and correspondence courses in many subjects, as well as gaining needed high school credit for a diploma. A monthly camp newsletter stated, “No other institution in America offers you your present salary, plus free housing, plus free health, plus free recreation services.” Many of the 2,900 camps published newsletters, with hand-drawn artwork, text produced on a typewriter, and printed on a mimeograph machine. The monthlies were full of news and information as well as words of inspiration and encouragement, such as, “Men and women who have left their mark in the game of life are the ones who seldom let an opportunity go by to be of some use or of some help toward the other fellow.” The San Bernardino Mountains was the home to some half dozen camps; from Miller Canyon, Lake Arrowhead and City Creek out to Fawnskin. A July 2019 Mileposts column featured the camp at Miller Canyon. This week’s image is a real photo group portrait of the kitchen staff at Company 529, the CCC camp at Lake Arrowhead, dated July 27, 1933. The camp was established May 29, 1933 and was closed at the start of World War II, as were the rest of the camps. Today the area is the site of the North Shore Campground, which boasts 28 full-service campsites.

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